John Bennett Perry

John Bennett Perry (born January 4, 1941) is an American actor, singer and former model. He is the father of actor Matthew Perry.

John Bennett Perry
Perry singing at a private event in 2008
Born (1941-01-04) January 4, 1941 (age 81)
OccupationActor, singer
Spouse(s)Suzanne Langford
(m. 1968; div. c. 1970)
Debbie Perry
Children2, including Matthew Perry

Life and careerEdit

Perry was born on January 4, 1941, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the son of businessman, bank director and civic leader Alton L. Perry (1906–2003) and Maria (née Bennett, 1910–1970).[1] He attended college at St. Lawrence University, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.[2] He married twice. His first wife was Suzanne Langford, a former press secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, with whom he fathered Matthew Perry. Perry and Langford divorced before Matthew's first birthday. He has a daughter, Maria "Mia" Perry (b. 1982),[3] with his second and current wife, Debbie.

His stage credits include the 1967 musical, Now Is the Time for All Good Men. He also appeared as a member of the crowd part in the “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” scene in the 1972 film Cabaret.

Perry portrayed the clean-shaven "sailor" in the Old Spice commercials of the 1970s and 1980s.[citation needed]

Perry has appeared in numerous films such as Lipstick (1976), Midway (1976), The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), Only When I Laugh (1981), Independence Day (1996) and George of the Jungle (1997), and on such television programs as The West Wing; L.A. Law; Days of Our Lives; Little House on the Prairie; Centennial; 240-Robert; Nakia; Falcon Crest; Murder, She Wrote; Diagnosis Murder; and Magnum, P.I.. He played General Douglas MacArthur in the 1989 film Farewell to the King.

In the 1978–79 TV season, he and Stephanie Edwards co-hosted EveryDay, a syndicated daytime talk/variety series that also featured Murray Langston, Tom Chapin, Bob Corff and Anne Bloom. He and Edwards were both nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service or Variety Series.[citation needed]

He appeared alongside his son, Matthew Perry, in the 1997 movie Fools Rush In, and in the episode "My Unicorn" of the sitcom Scrubs, each time as the father of his real-life son's character. He also appeared in an episode of Friends, "The One with Rachel's New Dress", playing the father of Rachel Green's boyfriend Joshua.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Lipstick Martin McCormick
1976 Midway ARM1c Walter G. Chochalousek
1981 The Legend of the Lone Ranger Ranger Captain Dan Reid
1981 Only When I Laugh Vincent Heller (Lou)
1989 Farewell to the King General MacArthur
1996 Independence Day Secret Serviceman
1996 The Evening Star Sitcom Parent
1997 Fools Rush In Richard Whitman
1997 George of the Jungle Arthur Stanhope
1998 Circles Bob Miano
1998 Ground Control Senator Rutherford
2002 The Sweetest Thing Judy's Father
2007 Agenda John Linney
2007 Protecting the King Vernon Presley
2008 Loaded Evan Price
2011 Bob's New Suit Buster


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Bobby Jo and the Good Time Band Jeff Television Movie
1973–1974 Police Story Sergeant Chick Torpi recurring role (5 episodes)
1974 Mannix Steve Walker Episode: "Walk a Double Line"
1974 Nakia unknown role Episode: "The Moving Target"
1975 Kung Fu Deputy Hank Archer Episode: "Battle Hymn"
1975 S.W.A.T. Johnny Brewer Episode: "The Vendetta"
1975 Barbary Coast Commander Stark Episode: "An Iron-Clad Plan"
1977 Little House on the Prairie Andrew Hobbs / Frank James Episode: "The Aftermath"
1978 Everyday Himself (Host) 2 episodes
– "#1.1"
– "#1.11"
Nominated – Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service or Variety Series
1978–1979 Centennial Mahlon Zendt Miniseries (2 episodes)
– "The Wagon and the Elephant" (1978)
– "The Storm" (1979)
1979–1981 240-Robert Deputy Theodore Roosevelt 'Trap' Applegate III series regular (16 episodes)
1981 A Matter of Life and Death Shad Fleming Television Movie
1982 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Russell Donovan Episode: "Tales of the Apple Dumpling Gang"
1982 Today's F.B.I. Parrish Episode: "Tapper"
1982 Money on the Side Tom Westmore Television Movie
1982 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Eckworth Episode: "Heritage"
1983 I Married Wyatt Earp John Behan Television Movie
1983 Little House on the Prairie Russell Matthews Episode: "Once Upon a Time"
1983 Teachers Only unknown role Episode: "Rex, the Wonder Husband"
1983 Wizards and Warriors Colter Episode: "The Dungeon of Death"
1983 Lottery! unknown role Episode: "Phoenix: Blood Brothers"
1983 Emerald Point N.A.S. Joe Episode: "#1.6"
1984 The Duck Factory Brett Higgens / Arnold Episode: "It Didn't Happen One Night"
1984 The Love Boat George Washburn Episode: "Only the Good Die Young/Honey Beats the Odds/The Light of Another Day"
1984 Paper Dolls Michael Caswell series regular (13 episodes)
1985 The Other Lover Peter Fielding Television Movie
1985 I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later Wes Morrison Television Movie
1985 Magnum, P.I. Stephen Parker Episode: "Rapture"
1985–1986 Falcon Crest Sheriff Floyd Gilmore series regular (21 episodes)
1986 Hotel Drew Haywood Episode: "Harassed"
1987 The Last Fling Jason Elliot Television Movie
1987 Independence Sheriff Television Movie
1987 Throb Bobby Episode: "Party Games"
1987 Poker Alice Frank Hartwell Television Movie
1987 Rags to Riches Tom Honkerson Episode: "Wilderness Blues"
1987 Pursuit of Happiness Fast Phil Episode: "Advice and Consent"
1987 Murder, She Wrote Judge Perry Sillman Episode: "When Thieves Fall Out"
1988 Nightingales Roger Taylor Television Movie
1988 L.A. Law Richard Lauderbauch Episode: "Romancing the Drone"
1988 Hunter Steven Stag Episode: "Dead on Target (Part 1 & 2)"
1989 She Knows Too Much Matthew Bream Television Movie
1989 False Witness Dr. Stiner Television Movie
1991 Over My Dead Body Raymond Episode: "Naked Brunch"
1992 Secrets Dan Adams Television Movie
1992 Coach Arthur Blackmore Episode: "Dateline-Bangkok"
1992 Silk Stalkings Ronald Bunch Episode: "Irreconcilable Differences"
1993 Civil Wars Adam Hunter Episode: "Dances with Sharks"
1993 Murder, She Wrote Dan Remsen Episode: "Lone Witness"
1993 Home Fries unknown role Episode: "Front Page"
1995 Renegade Ted Radford Episode: "Rancho Escondido"
1995 CBS Schoolbreak Special Winston Halpern Episode: "Kids Killing Kids"
1995 Eye of the Stalker Duncan Emerson Television Movie
1996 Pier 66 Senator Powers Television Movie
1996 Night Stand Colin Hunter Episode: "Gays in the Military"
1998 The Wonderful World of Disney Mr. Norman Zapruder Episode: "Safety Patrol"
1998 Friends Mr. Burgin Episode: "The One with Rachel's New Dress"
1998 JAG Roland Sims 2 episodes
– "Yesterday's Heroes"
– "Wedding Bell Blues"
1998 The Army Show Nelson Caesar Episode: "J. Paul Caesar"
1998–1999 Air America Frank Arnett recurring role (6 episodes)
1999 Veronica's Closet Byron Blair Episode: "Veronica's from Venus/Josh's Parents Are from Mars"
1999 Nash Bridges Frank Morgan Episode: "Hide and Seek"
1999 3rd Rock from the Sun Hamilton Bell Episode: "Dick v. Strudwick"
1999–2000 Family Law Senator Harlan Bell recurring role (3 episodes)
1999–2001 It's Like, You Know... Barney the Anchorman recurring role (3 episodes)
2000 Diagnosis Murder Robert Brantigan Episode: "Man Overboard"
2001 The West Wing Representative Bill. D Episode: "Two Cathedrals"
2002 Providence Charles Frank recurring role (3 episodes)
2003 7th Heaven Detective Terry Richardson 2 episodes
– "Stand Up"
– "High Anxiety"
2003 Threat Matrix Senator Otto Episode: "Flipping"
2004 Scrubs Gregory Marks Episode: "My Unicorn"
2005 Cuts Dennis Episode: "Mack Daddies"
2005 Veronica Mars Principal Alan Moorehead 2 episodes
– "Ahoy, Mateys!"
– "My Mother, the Fiend"
2006 Principal Dennis unknown role Episode: "Heiress Bridenapped"
2006 Our House Judge Television Movie
2006 The Closer Walter Langer Episode: "Heroic Measures"
2008 Dirty Sexy Money Hal Matheson Episode: "The Birthday Present"
2009 Cold Case Al 'Baltimore Red' Soddenheim '09 Episode: "November 22"
2011 Mr. Sunshine Howard Episode: "The Best Man"


  1. ^ "Alton Perry obituary". iBerkshires. 4 February 2003. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  2. ^ Phi Sigma Kappa, ed. (1986). Hills and a Star (8 ed.). Indianapolis, Indiana: Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. pp. 76–78.
  3. ^ "Matthew Perry Commits To T-150 Benefit". Retrieved 2021-05-26.

External linksEdit